Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.
~ The Wizard of Oz
How would you like to see what’s going on behind the curtain? There is a catch here, and you might want to stop reading right now. Why is that? First of all … you can’t even have it today. That’s not exactly true. One of you will have this today in one of your course shells. The rest of you will just have to wait. This is in pilot phase right now … one course and one teacher. After some more tests and feedback, it will be rolled out to an ever-widening group. It’s your choice whether or not to continue reading here now. Let’s take a peek!
One of the biggest challenges in online course delivery and communication has been pacing. It can be very tedious to keep students aware of the pace they need to maintain. It has also been a challenge to know who is on pace and who has slipped behind or fallen off the road. Many of you spoke loudly and clearly about this at our last conference gathering. We have not forgotten you! In fact … our development team has worked very hard writing and rewriting the code to get to tonight’s rollout of one. There were folks at FLVS with whom we needed to collaborate as well. Are you still with us?
Working with FLVS, we incorporated into Educator the time it should take a student to complete a lesson AND assignment. This information was imported into Gradebuilder:
Needing a starting point, we agreed to set a student’s pace as working for one hour per day for five days in a week. Beginning with a student’s start date and taking into account segment enrollment, exempted assignments, and honors status, a pace chart with due dates is created for each student. When viewing a student’s gradereport, the teacher sees the calculated due date and actual submitted date:
The rows are color-coded in order to provide graphic clues:
Teachers will also be able to enter the Pace Planner for any particular student and adjust the pace EITHER by entering the intended END DATE or budgeting a set number of HOURS PER WEEK for the student. At this time the developers did not leave this open for students to navigate.
Students will also gain new functionality through this enhancement. The student workload will reflect due dates. Their color scheme will reflect work/assignments that are DUE IN 5 DAYS, already LATE, or CURRENT.
The student CALENDAR will also be populated with assignment due dates:
While you are reading this, there is one teacher in one course with one class of students who are all experiencing the Dynamic Pace Chart. There will likely be some tweaks and suggestions put into place in the coming days and weeks before the expanded group joins. Thank you for allowing us to share what has been going on behind our curtain. Feel free to share your own thoughts.
It’s fun to peek into other people’s worlds and see how they go about doing things.
~ Norah Jones